Remember when you would proudly display your album collection, DVDs, CDs, books, photos, etc. on huge shelving units in your family room, office, etc.?  There was a sense of pride in the collections we have accumulated over the years whether they were baseball cards or figurines.

Those days appear to be going by the wayside with the advent of the cloud.  Sure, digitization of content was the first foray into replacing those huge shelving units filled with albums, CDs, and DVDs with high capacity hard drives loaded to the max, but they were still our collections. We still purchased CDs and ripped them to drives, or downloaded MP3s or movies and saved them to drives that we owned. The sense of ownership simply shifted from the individual media to the storage device.

Is the cloud and the marketing push to store all of your content elsewhere doing away with the pride we once felt in what we accumulated over the years, and with it the personal responsibility for protecting our content?  Sure, your content is still on hard drives in some data center, but you don’t own the data center, you don’t have something you can touch and feel that is in your control, and is your responsibility. In fact, most cloud providers will still put the responsibility in your hands when it comes to protecting your content, but how can we if we don’t have much control?  See: Why our data is always our responsibility.

Interesting quote from Steve Wozniak via ComputerWorld, that was the inspiration for this post:

“I really worry about everything going to the cloud. I think it’s going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years. With the cloud, you don’t own anything. You already signed it away…I want to feel that I own things. A lot of people feel, ‘Oh, everything is really on my computer,’ but I say the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it.” 

The buzz around the hack of tech journalist and former Gizmodo staffer Matt Honan this past week has elevated the discussion. CNN did a great recap here…check it out. Now, Matt did nothing wrong…he simply utilized Apple iCloud, Amazon, Twitter, Gmail, etc. the way it was intended to be used. He set all his passwords, he took all the necessary steps to be secure, yet some hacker, just for kicks, hit him hard.

Granted, a personal sense of ownership, or one of responsibility, is not lacking in this example, but it is an example of what we are exposed to the more we move to the cloud.  You know I am a huge advocate for cloud computing and the benefits it brings, but it’s not entirely the failsafe perhaps it’s marketed as.  I think we’ll get there.

In the meantime, we can always hang on to the sense of ownership and pride we have in our collections of digital content, because personal storage is not going away anytime soon.

So take pride in your collections (whatever they may be), and let us know how many gigabytes or terabytes you just might have.

Related Posts:

Have you preserved your kids’ content lately?

Who is the largest cloud customer? You.

Is analog more “memorable” than digital?

Dust off that media cabinet…CDs are back baby!

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